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Pat Hillegass, Best Chance Employment Services

 

A Working Model

There's a lot of noble work to be done in the world. From saving animals and protecting trees to voluntarily eating the last slice of pizza, there are plenty of ways to do good. But some of the noblest work involves helping others help themselves. Pat Hillegass New browser window icon., founder and board member at Best Chance Employment in Fort Meyers, Florida, knows this well. She's so passionate about what she does that it's easy to wonder if she's the one who came up with that whole "give a man a fish" saying.

"I help people create resumes, [build] interviewing skills, [and understand] behavior in a work setting," says Pat of her day-to-day interactions with clients. "Anything that would be connected with a job." And when you're a career coach, "anything" means just about anything needed to help clients. "I've been in the back room unloading trucks," she says with a laugh. "You do whatever you need to do in order to make sure [your clients] are successful… I enjoy being out there, being active, working with people."

So what does Pat get out of this career? Best Chance Employment is a 503(c) nonprofit, so it's not private jets and lavish dinner parties. Helping people find jobs is enough for her. She even left a cushy corporate position to work in the nonprofit world, first for another organization, and then on her own.

"I left a really nice office job [in human resources]," says Pat of her life before Best Chance. "It was kind of recruitment … it was everything, really." And it was in that corporate job that she realized how much she enjoyed working with — and helping — people, so she quit to focus purely on helping. She quickly realized she could do more if she set out on her own, so she left her first nonprofit job to found Best Chance Employment.

After jumping through countless hoops for nearly a year to establish her nonprofit in the state of Florida, Pat and a three-person board of directors opened the doors at Best Chance Employment in January 2015. Since then it's been month after month of working with her clients — who are clients of the state of Florida — to find jobs and change lives. Because that's really what this is about for her.

"When you see somebody get a job and be so happy," says Pat of what keeps her going day after day, "you literally change lives." And when she says those words you can hear the genuine excitement and joy in her voice. Because this isn't just her job. Best Chance and its mission are part of who Pat is as a person. And with business booming and Pat now looking to add a second career coach to the team, Best Chance is a big part of who she is.

Of course, that doesn't mean she likes the red tape, but it comes with the territory. She knew that going in just as she knew that there were easier careers out there, but the red tape is still a hassle. Fortunately, insureon is more than capable of cutting through said tape for its customers.

An active insurance policy is one of the requirements set forth by the state of Florida, so Pat did a quick Google search for small business insurance and she found insureon. There were a few other companies that popped up as well, but insureon nailed the first impression. "Insureon was the most proactive," recalls Pat. "They were there, they were helpful, they answered all my questions." And that was just the beginning. "[The government] looks at your application and [if] they find something wrong you go back to the bottom of the pile," she said, recalling the tedious process of setting up a nonprofit. But when she hit a snag with her policy, insureon made sure to keep her application on the top of the stack: "I called up my agent and he said, 'No problem!' and he took care of it so fast that I didn't go to the bottom of the pile."

That's service. Red-tape free.

Now, without having to worry about her policy or any hoops that might appear down the road, Pat is free to change lives. After all, insurance is important, but finding jobs and "teaching a man to fish" are far nobler than worrying about your policy or wondering if you have the coverage you need.

Pat Hillegass
Best Chance Employment
(239) 450-3500

Customer Rating 4.9 out of 5
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